TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Tsai paid her respects at three temples in southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County alongside Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Chuang Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄), Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), Chuang Chia-pin (鍾佳濱), and Chou Chun-mi (周春米). Pingtung County Mayor Pan Men-an (長潘孟) joined the last two stops of the procession.
Tsai said national defense, diplomacy and managing cross-strait relations are the three most important matters a president must handle. Taiwan’s people must decide if they want to preserve the status quo of sovereign independence, or be forced into unification with China during next year’s election, she said.
“If you want Taiwan to maintain its freedom, democracy and sovereign independence, you must choose Tsai in 2020,” the president said.
DPP supporters chanted, “Support Tsai, preserve Taiwan!” according to the Central News Agency.
Tsai stressed that in her three years as president, she never yielded to China’s saber-rattling or accepted the “1992 Consensus.” The president reiterated that she has made it clear Taiwan does not accept “one country, two systems” and cannot be subdued no matter how strong the pressure.
“Allow Tsai Ing-wen to continue safeguarding Taiwan after 2020,” she said.
In the past three years, said Tsai, Taiwan’s economy has grown, 35 companies have returned home and invested in the country, Google has increased its investment in Taiwan, and the country has researched and manufactured indigenous weapon systems. Taiwan’s democratic neighbors, therefore, all believe they can cooperate on security missions to preserve the peace and stability of the region.
The government has also invested in the “Long-Term Care 2.0” scheme to care for the elderly and disadvantaged, and will implement childcare subsidies from August 1, said Tsai. Tax reductions benefiting young people will be implemented in May, she added.
Tsai asked those with family members in military service to convey her apologies and thanks. She said reforms are being made to ensure care is available for more people and the next generation.